I took this photo of a little rocket sculpture that we have on display here in our house. I shot it using a Horseman LS 4×5 (large format) monorail camera and a Schneider-Kreuznach 210mm lens at f/16. The exposure was six seconds on Ilford Delta 100 film. The film was developed in Rodinal developer, using a 1:100 (developer:water) dilution and eighteen minutes of development.

I used a new holder for developing the film–a B’s 4×5 developing reel. But I loaded it into a slightly oversized tank–a four-reel Paterson developing tank, not a three-reel tank. I didn’t think that would make a difference, as I added plenty of developer. But I didn’t realize that the tank would float. So the right side of the negative wasn’t developed adequately. Fortunately, I had a bit of room over there, so I just cropped the image. The next time I try the B’s developing reel, I’ll put it in a smaller developing tank!

I just bought the Horseman LS camera. It’s definitely a studio camera. I’m not sure what it weighs, but it’s a beast. I like it, though. The movements on it are very clean and easy to use. In addition, not only are both standards geared for movement on the rail, but the rail itself is geared to move along the clamp that mounts it to the tripod head. This feature permits moving the entire camera body forward and backward relative to the tripod and thus relative to the subject. That is a very, very handy feature for close-up shots like this one.

As noted above, I shot this image at f/16. Depth of field is shallow because I used a relatively long lens (210mm) at a very short distance.

This Is Just to Say

This Is Just to Say

This photo was taken using a Sinar F1, a 4″x5″ inch monorail camera, with a 90mm Schneider-Kreuznach Super-Angulon f/8 lens. I used Ilford Delta 100 film, with an exposure time of fifty-five seconds at f/16. I developed the film at home with Rodinal developer. The development time was eighteen minutes in a 1:100 dilution.

I lit the grapes pretty minimally, so the scene was dark. My exposure meter (actually, three meters on my iPhone) called for a six-second exposure at f/16. But I also had to account for the bellows extension factor and reciprocity failure.

“Bellows extension factor” refers to the extra time needed for an exposure when the bellows of a large-format camera is extended beyond the normal focal length of the lens. For a 90mm lens, the bellows is (of course) normally extended 90 millimeters, or about three and one-half inches. In this case, though, the bellows was extended about six inches. That required an extra two stops of exposure.

“Reciprocity failure” refers to the fact that, after a certain period of exposure, some films will effectively have a lower film speed–that is, they’ll be less sensitive to light.

After calculating the additional two stops for the bellows extension factor, I calculated the reciprocity failure and came up with 38 seconds. I calculated another half-stop of exposure for the bellows extension factor and added the reciprocity failure, coming up with 55 seconds. Both exposures resulted in entirely usable negatives. I thought that the 55-second exposure had just a bit more shadow detail, so I scanned that using an Epson scanner.

I had recently learned the importance of checking the histogram on the Epson scanner after previewing the image. The initial scan was far too bright: the scanner was trying to make it look like a normally lit scene. I adjusted the endpoints on the curve until the thumbnail looked more or less correct. The resulting scan was almost perfect. I had to do very little in Lightroom to achieve my goal. I reduced the highlights a trifle, although they really weren’t objectionable.

Focusing was difficult, as the Super-Angulon is only an f/8 lens. Most of my other large-format lenses are f/5.6, which is much brighter. I was worried about sharpness, especially barge-format film has a shallow depth of field. I focused on the grapes at the front of the bowl. I didn’t want the image to be sharp all the way through, so I chose an aperture of f/16, hoping that it would cover the area I wanted without rendering all of the grapes (and the background) sharp. I’m pleased with the way the sharpness slides away.


Waste Not!

Well, the Old Hillbilly learned hisself somethin’ new! I done learned ’bout a feller who can make one bottle of homeopitiful pills last forever! That’s right! All a feller has to do is keep a-addin’ sugar water and grain alkie-haul!

Now the Old Hillbilly has been a-thankin’ on thish hyar idee that thish hyar young feller has had. An’ I reckon they’s somethin’ in it. That is, so long as a feller takes a quart or so of the Hillbilly’s Speshul Rokkit Fule Mash with ever’ one of them there homeopitiful pills, then they’ll work just like new!

In fact, since homeopitiful pills ain’t nothin’ but sugar no way, I reckon it don’t matter how much sugar water a feller cuts ’em with. They’ll be just as useless on Day One Million as they was on Day One!

Waste Free Homeopathy

Clouds over the Cape

Cape Girardeau Clouds

I took this photograph in June 2018 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, near where I grew up. I took the shot using my Mamiya C220, with an orange filter on the lens to help bring out the clouds. I used Ilford Delta 100 film (my favorite) and developed it in Kodak HC-110. (I like HC-110 because it’s cheap and lasts forever.)

I got only one shot on this roll. After this shot, the C220’s film advance jammed. I had it repaired, and it’s working reasonably well again.

The Old Fishin’ Hole

The Old Fishin' Hole, Moskva 5

The Ol’ Hillbilly took this photo by his favorite fishin’ hole in Carver Park, between Victoria and St. Bonifacius, Minnesota. I shot the photo with an old Moskva 5, a camera manufactured in the former Soviet Union. The Moskva 5 shoots 6×9 centimeter images on 120 roll film. The lens is a bit soft, but I like the instant vintage look from the camera. I shot this image on Ilford Delta 100 film, developed it in Kodak HC-110 (1:31 concentration), and scanned it on my Epson scanner.

A Century-Old Camera

Kodak Jr., Bde Maka Ska

I took this photo using a Kodak No. 1A Junior Autographic, manufactured sometime around late 1913 to 1914. I received the camera as a gift from a colleague of my wife. The camera was designed for use with type 116 film, which is no longer manufactured. I purchased adapters from the Film Photography Project┬áthat allowed me to use 120 film with the camera. I took this photograph late one afternoon at Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun), not far from my home in Minneapolis. The camera’s finder is laughable, so this photo is not exactly straight.